It all began about 5:30 in the morning. I gave the little guy the blast of the nebulizer for his asthma while he slept. I stroked his hair and looked at him a little differently this morning. It was the morning of the MRI of his brain.
The MRI facility is located a little over 40 miles from our house. I did not want to get my son up too early. He was forbidden from having anything to eat or drink for 12 hours before the anesthesia. I did not want him to wake up looking for food and water, his usual routine.
I usually give the little guy his oral medications first thing in the morning. The medications had to be delayed until after the MRI. I was now stripping layers of protection from the nitroglycerin that ignites the meltdown kid.
I had never been to the MRI place. The numbers identifying the building were huge – and, unmistakably, over a parking garage. I have not heard many parents of ASD kids talk about parking garages. My son hates any enclosed space over our vehicle. This means tunnels, going under an overpass of any length, car washes, and parking garages. In we went – peel away another layer of protection around the nitroglycerin kid.
Into the main entrance we headed. We had to take the elevator down to get to where we had to go. Unacceptable. Elevators, don’t you know, are for going up. The rest of the packing around my nitroglycerin kid just fell away. Now, he only needed the slightest jarring to explode.
Inside the elevator we went. The buttons were on the side opposite where we entered. Why? Because it was a double-sided elevator that headed up to the rest of the parking garage and down – the other opening to the MRI building. Not good. At all.
As we exited, my son began to melt as I signed in. “Wanna push the button. Mommy to come. Push the buttons. Push the buttons. Go up! Up the elevator!! Wanna go up!! WANNA GO UP!! PUSH THE BUTTON!! MOMMY TO COME!”
[As a side note, while my husband was there when my son went under anesthesia and came out, we rode in separate cars because he had to do something work-related before coming down. Thus, all the joys of the descent into the explosion were handled solo.]
I listened to the little guy at full volume – no lung problem today- while he screamed to go in the elevator. At the same time, the woman checking us in gave me three, double-sided forms to fill out and return to her. The waiting room was filled with about 50 people. We headed to the very back of the room and sat in a corner where there were a couple rows of open chairs.
To top it all off, a nurse came up, poured globs of cream on each of my son’s hands and taped them with clear bandages. The cream was to numb the area for insertion of the IV line. If Kelly at Unplanned Trip to Holland, had not told me about this I would not have understood. Unfortunately, Tootles did not read Kelly’s comment, and I forgot to pass it on. He freaked and tried to take them off. Luckily, he listened when I told him they were special globs of cream and that I wished I had some.
All eyes were upon me and my screaming, yelling five year old child, with tears streaming down his cheeks, demanding I take him back to the elevator. The room was filled. Although they watched, no one really gave me the evil eye. Strange that, I thought.
When the Daddy finally arrived, he took our son to the elevator. I could hear them at the other end of the building and one floor up. Well now, that might be an exaggeration. I could really only hear my son…
I finished letting the MRI facility know that my son has never had any metal shrapnel or metal implants in his body and turned in the forms while the hubs had him occupied. Then? They gave me three more pages to fill out…
I just finished the paperwork when my husband came back over, my son still in low key eruption mode. I took him back to the elevator. We walked up a staircase, got in the elevator, took it up, took it back down, stared at the buttons and talked about the shape and color of the buttons and did the same twice more. He was satisfied. We went back to our corner and he played on his iPad.
An hour later, I wondered if, during my son’s earlier “activity”, we missed his name being called. This is because, when I looked up, after an hour, I realized we were just about the last family waiting. We had a 9:30 a.m. appointment. It was 10:30.
The hubs found out that they were running 45-60 minutes late. I was close to a meltdown of my own by this point. Finally, around 11:30, the MRI was begun.
The loose clothing was useless because they put him in a gown. They had trouble inserting the IV and had to switch hands. There was a lot of blood. He was yelling and then, quicker than you could snap your fingers, he was out. And thanks again to Kelly and to Jen in Illinois, for warning me about the quick way they fall asleep under the anesthesia and how scary it is. Without that warning, I might’ve gone limp myself. My husband almost did. He was quietly upset throughout.
I cried in the waiting room. I tweeted. You responded with your well wishes and support. (Thanks to Jen T., Jim, Blue, Dixie, Caroline, Lana and Julie Coryell!)
When it was over, the nurse brought us back into the prep room while he slept. They let him sleep for about 15 minutes because they said it helps with nausea to get the medication chewed up by his liver, as she put it.
When she finally woke him up, he was a 52 pound fighting, limp, yelling noodle. He was groggy and he wanted to head right back out to the elevator and get out of that place. He struggled to get away from everyone but could not stand up or understand that he could not stand walk or even sit up successfully. The anesthesiology nurse was hesitant to let us go. I told her it was more dangerous to try and keep us in there. He kept doing the limp noodle and yelling.
My husband carried him out to the car, placed him in there, yelling like an angry drunk (the kid – not the hubs!), and we left. He continued to yell and scream in his groggy way for about a half hour. Then he got quiet.
Next, he asked for a taco. There was no barf. All was well again with the world.